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McKinley 1 Alex McKinley Beth Caruso English 1101 November 7, 2011 The Subtle Art of Minecraft The original

text that was chosen was the online computer game Minecraft. It was originally written from an entertainment perspective. What was discussed was that Minecraft originally was meant to entertain a large population of gamers aging from young children to adults. The RPG (Role Playing Game) aspect of this game is enormous. Role Playing Games is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines(Wikipedia) The Sandbox aspect of this game gives the player the freedom to roam their earth with unlimited and unguided pleasure with no ultimate goal or overall quest. However, what was not discussed in too great of detail was the creative side of the game. It was mentioned that a player has the ability to build a wide range of structures including castles, houses, and so on. What was not mentioned is how these feats were accomplished and the complexity that it takes to build some of the more intricate structures. The games creative side is so expansive that it cannot only entertain players for hours on end, but it allows them to literally create an object from an idea. The process can sometimes be rather lengthy and complicated at times, but it does take an extraordinary amount of coordination and creativity.

McKinley 2 The reasoning behind choosing art as the recreated genre is due to the fact that in the original essay did not fully describe the depth that the creative portion of this game has to offer. It allows players to explore their creative side while still being able to have fun doing it. This artistic process is not meant to have any particular subtext or meaning. Theyre more along the lines of aesthetic pleasure in this particular context. The structures seen in this recreation were built merely for the sake of personal enjoyment. It was meant to show what the game offers in another perspective. It contains all of the aspects of an entertaining video game, but it also incorporates imagination to the Nth degree. The goal is to show the class all sides of this game. The process that was used to begin was simply taking a photo of the design or image that was desired and looking at it from a pixelated stand point. This means that every image is made out of many individual digital blocks known as pixels, or pels (picture elements). Pixels are normally arranged in a two-dimensional grid, and are often represented using dots or squares. (Wikipedia) Minecraft images are built using this exact same concept. A player is given 1x1 blocks of many different colors. From here it is merely a process of creating the picture at a more manageable and readjusted scale. Often the pictures contain more pixels than what can fit within the height borders of the game. All that is required is to rescale the picture to fit within that border. This is not always an issue; it merely depends on the image. Minecraft art is the creation of images with the available blocks in Minecraft. Usually, the images produced are recreations of character sprites from games with low-resolution graphics, such as NES games or modern indie sidescrollers such as Spelunky or Cave Story (Wikipedia).

McKinley 3 The more tedious process of this project is the actual building itself. Normally the project starts from the ground up and continues to build the outline of the image in order to avoid complication later on. Unfortunately, if a player has made a mistake in their scaling then the image will be disproportionate and a player has to restart. This process can take a few hours and can become rather frustrating at times, but once an outline is built the rest of the project is relatively simple. Filling the empty space that comprises the actual image is a little more monotonous rather than frustrating; it does however take a bit of time to do. If a player uses the outline as a guide then it becomes very simple and uncomplicated. The structures that were chosen for this project were not only chosen out of personal enjoyment, but also because they show the variability of the structures themselves. The images outside of this project come from very different sources. They are both drawn in very different styles, and yet this project shows that even with those differences that Minecraft can still compensate for those differences and create something very detailed and unique. The hope is to let the class see how much this game has to offer in the way in versatility. Unfortunately this project does not show so much in the way of actual gameplay and the attraction for gamers, but at least it provides the opportunity to show the more over looked portion of the game. A large percentage of people do not play this game with the goal of creating anything substantial artistically. The normal amount of creation that takes place in this game is usually nothing more than a house or some kind of shelter. These can get rather extensive at some points for

McKinley 4 those who put in the effort, but for the most part these structures are rather simple and lifeless. A major contributor to this project idea was the idea of creating a 2-D image in a 3-D setting. It made this project a little more interesting. What was originally considered was to create literal 3-D images with depth and realistic qualities. Unfortunately it was much more difficult and caused a lot more frustration than this idea. This is because building a 2-D image takes a lot less time and planning. It was not due to laziness or some other factor. It was merely too difficult and caused too much frustration. 3-D structures are difficult because it is very simple to create something thats disproportionate. It is also very difficult with the art style that is being used. It is difficult to create a rounded object out of blocks without making the structure extremely large, thus taking a significant amount of time. Instead it was decided to stick with turning 2-D images into a standing position and add shading to the image for more detail and artistic value. In conclusion, Minecraft contains many unique qualities. It contains the adventurous characteristics of an RPG while simultaneously merging an artistic and creative environment that allows players to utilize their imagination. The goal was to show what this game has to offer. Yet, this is still only a small portion of this game. Minecraft is literally an unending world of fun. There is always something to build, fight, or explore. There are constant updates to this game that continue to expand its already endless stream of entertainment.

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"Role-playing Game." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 01 Nov. 2001. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role-playing_game>. "Pixel Art - Minecraft Wiki." Minecraft Wiki - The Ultimate Resource for All Things Minecraft. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, 21 June 2010. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Pixel_Art>. "Pixel." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 30 Oct. 2001. Web. 07 Nov. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixel>.